2016 was a very good vintage for Cabernet in Margaret River if perhaps a little brutish. Some growing season rain held things in check nicely and the vintage resulted in dark quite concentrated wines with lots of dark sweet fruit and easy appeal.
This is the second single-site Cabernet Sauvignon release under the Nocturne label, with fruit coming from their Sheoak Vineyard in the Yallingup subregion of Margaret River. This beautifully mature, cane-pruned Cabernet vineyard is slightly unusually as it's planted in an east-west orientation on a south-facing slope, thus moderating potential overly warm ripening periods. The vineyard is also very close to the Indian Ocean, which is just 3km away, which has huge moderating effects on the temperature extremes at the site. The soil is deep gravel over clay with some scattered granite.
The fruit was picked relatively early on the 23th of March, preserving some delicacy and bouncy, red-fruit flavours. This fruit was destemmed and fermented in 4.5-tonne static fermenters. After 15 days on skins and a peak ferment temperature of around 26 degrees Celsius, the wine was pressed to tank and settled briefly, before being transferred to a combination of new (25%) and two-year-old barrels to undergo malolactic conversion. This wine was racked only once in this time and was after 15 months in oak emptied from barrel, settled, clarified and was bottled unfiltered. The Sheoak vineyard makes expressive, medium-bodied Cabernets that bears some semblance to a modern version of a luncheon claret. We are very happy new owners and this vineyard will be the beating heart of the Nocturne project. - Julian Langworthy, Nocturne